Disaster Operations Bureau Chief
Dennis Harper joined Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management in 1993. He was promoted to supervisor of the Public Assistance program in February 2011. Prior to becoming program supervisor, he served the as HSEMD’s grant program manager for the Homeland Security Grant Program (HSGP) and Emergency Management Performance Grant (EMPG) and was the state’s hazard mitigation officer from 1993-2006. In July 2013, he became the chief for the new Hazard Mitigation Bureau (under the umbrella of the new Recovery Division). In July 2016, Mr. Harper transitioned to the chief of the Disaster Operations Bureau.
During emergency operations, Mr. Harper has served as a logistics officer in the State Emergency Operation Center (SEOC). He has often been deployed as a liaison to assist local governments in the initial stages of emergency response and is one of the primary state officials to coordinate disaster and damage assessment teams with local, state and federal officials.
Mr. Harper is a past co-chair to the National Hazard Mitigation Officers Association, where he provided counsel to the National Emergency Management Association (NEMA) on issues related to risk- and damage-reduction policies and legislation. In 1999, he also co-chaired a watershed task force created to address state policy and long-term planning for Iowa’s watersheds, and remains active in that role today.
A military veteran of Desert Shield/Desert Storm, Mr. Harper retired from the Army National Guard in 2005.